Commuter Diaries: Vol 1 – How To Pick The Right Bike For You

May 18th, 2018

Our Commuter Diaries series is written by Anita Vandyke. Anita runs a successful Instagram account (@rocket_science) about zero waste living. She is currently writing her first book A Zero Waste Lifestyle: a thirty day guide to be published in July 2018. For more information about the author please visit www.anitavandyke.com. PUBLIC Bikes has a range… Read more »

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Our Commuter Diaries series is written by Anita Vandyke. Anita runs a successful Instagram account (@rocket_science) about zero waste living. She is currently writing her first book A Zero Waste Lifestyle: a thirty day guide to be published in July 2018. For more information about the author please visit www.anitavandyke.com.


PUBLIC Bikes has a range of bikes for every rider, but how do you know which bike is the right one for you? Through this blog post, I want to show you how I picked the right bike and the appropriate accessories for my needs by asking myself three simple questions.

 

1. Where will you ride the bike?

 

This is the most important question. Will you be riding your bike just on the weekends? For your daily commute? Will you ride just on local roads or on highways? These questions will determine the type of PUBLIC bike that is best for you. For my bike, I’ll be using it to ride the hills of San Francisco as part of my daily commute. It’ll be my primary mode of transport. So, I needed a bike that was sturdy, and suitable for a range of terrains. This meant I needed a bike with different gear levels, so I could climb those hills with ease and grace! I chose the Step Through C7 bike which has seven speeds and easy step-through frame which is perfect for when I wear dresses to work or to a special event.

 

photo by Joi Ong

 

 

2. What will you bring along with you?

 

My PUBLIC bike will be my primary mode of transport, so I’ll be using it carry my backpack to work and using it do my zero waste grocery shopping at farmer’s markets and the bulk store. This mean I had to choose accessories that were suitable for my daily needs.

I chose the PUBLIC Rear Bike Rack which I can easily attach a basket, a pannier bag or other accessories.

I also the detachable PUBLIC Metal Bike Basket. This basket is an absolute game-changer and perfect for grocery shopping. You simply remove it from the bike and pop your groceries in and then once you’re done, it easily attaches onto the rear bike rack! Genius!

 

These handy attachments make it the perfect bike for my everyday needs!

 

3. What accessories do you need?

 

Remember, safety is of utmost importance! Make sure you deck out your new bike with the right lights, a bell and wear a helmet when you ride!

I chose the BikeSmart Wally USB Headlight, which is lightweight and easy to charge.

I also chose this extremely cute PUBLIC Brass Bicycle Bell, which is a great safety feature but also looks super stylish.

The streets of San Francisco are notorious for stolen bikes, so I made sure I bought a sturdy lock to ensure my prized bike is protected. The store associates helped me pick out the ABUS Ultra 410 Mini U-Lock.

 

photo by Joi Ong

 

Finally, don’t forget to buy a bike helmet for riding on the roads, it’s a key safety feature for any bike rider!

 

My PUBLIC bike is more than just a commuter bike, it’s a bike that is practical, stylish, comfortable and suits my daily needs. Also, for those who aren’t technically minded, PUBLIC Bikes provides a full-service, where you can have the bike assembled for you and you can pick it up from your local supplier! The service from start to finish was seamless, most importantly, the bike is a quality product which I know will last for years to come. I can’t wait to take the bike out for my first commuter ride!!

 

 

 

 

Tips For Biking With Kids From Moms Who Bike

May 7th, 2018

We are inspired daily here at PUBLIC by our incredible biking community. As Mother’s Day approaches, we reached out to a select part of that community, biking mothers.  We asked for their top tips when it comes to biking with children, why they bike with their kids, and what being a mother means to them…. Read more »

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We are inspired daily here at PUBLIC by our incredible biking community. As Mother’s Day approaches, we reached out to a select part of that community, biking mothers.  We asked for their top tips when it comes to biking with children, why they bike with their kids, and what being a mother means to them. Their responses were helpful, heartfelt and inspiring.

A huge high five to all biking mothers out there. This post is for you.

And if you’re in need of gift ideas for the biking mom in your life, check out our handy Mother’s Day Gift Guide.


Naomi of Love Taza

Naomi Riding Image Credit: Naomi’s husband Josh / Naomi biking with her and her two year old son, Samson.

Naomi’s 20 Word (more or less) Bio:
Over 7 years ago, Naomi started Love Taza where she chronicles bits and pieces of her life with her family in New York City. She is the mother of three little ones ages four and under. Love Taza celebrates motherhood, family, travel, good food and life’s simple joys! And she rides a PUBLIC dutch bike step-through.

Top tip for biking with kids?
Involve them as much as possible and make it fun! You can try playing a game of “I spy” while riding, or let them choose which way to go.

Why do you bike with your kids?
I’ve always loved biking, so it felt natural to continue to do so after our first little one arrived. It’s our favorite form of transportation, especially in NYC where more bike lanes and trails continue to be added. I think my kids get extra excited when we take out our bikes because they get to be beside us while taking in their surroundings and seeing everything as we explore together.

What does motherhood mean to you?
I don’t know if I can do it justice in just a few sentences! I love and adore being a mother. It means a million different things… It means long days and nights of chaos and spit up and sacrifice and guilt and sometimes I think I’ve gone mad! But it also means joy and love and growth and adventure and having the chance to spend my days with the sweetest little ones by my side. And nothing has ever topped that for me. So far, motherhood has been nothing short of an absolute honor.


Jen of Pedal Adventures

Jen Biking Image Credit: Pedal Adventures / Jen biking with her son.

Jen’s 20 Word (more or less) Bio:
Mom of boys. Consultant. Wanderer. Cyclist. Navigating loss, managing fear, living with courage, and taking the road less traveled. Founder of the inspiring blog about biking, motherhood and more, Pedal Adventures.

Top tip for biking with kids?
Start early, incorporate it into your lifestyle, get them a good bike starting with a balance bike, bring snacks, and don’t force them to ride.

Why do you bike with your kids?
Cycling is my passion so it was easy to introduce it to my kids. I like that cycling provides options for transportation, health, and most of all fun.

What does motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood is a chance to share, grow, and continually work on my patience.

How do you find balance? Is there such a thing?
Balance for me is a combination of achievement and enjoyment. Daily I try to do things that bring me joy, happiness, and enjoyment while also achieving something. Somedays the scale tips more to enjoyment and some days it’s more about achievement but ultimately I feel best when I get both.


Kit of Vie Bikes

Kit Riding Image credit: Jake Donham / Kit’s Birthday treat to herself was riding her eldest child over the Golden Gate Bridge. Silly face was extra bonus.

Kit’s 20 Word (more or less) Bio:
Co-Founder of Vie Bikes, a new San Francisco company helping families get rolling with their kids. I’m the mother of two little people living the good life by bike in the hills of San Francisco. Prior to co-founding Vie, I worked at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Transportation Alternatives in New York City and the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago, and now enjoy riding on the bike lanes I made happen. I started this company because I get stopped constantly by people who really want to know about my family bike. I went to Harvard College and aim to have hobbies again when my kids turn 18.

What’s your top tip for biking with kids?
Find the right bike — usually an electric assist — and choose good routes. Vie offers a free Family Biking Map and sample routes.

Why do you bike with your kids?
It’s just so convenient and a great way to live. We get more places, faster, and feeling great. Our kids spend more time together, enjoying each other’s company, and less time fighting and being crazy than when they’re in a car or on public transportation. I remain grounded in myself, because I’m building me time in to my everyday life, and feeling good physically and emotionally. Life is just so much harder without a bike.

What does motherhood mean to you?
Everything. It’s an indescribable blessing every day, and an enormous responsibility. I love being a mom!

 


Do Good By Bike: Vol 9 – Trips For Kids

April 6th, 2018

#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich communities all over through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here. If you have a nominee for #DoPublicGood, please let us know in the comments and if… Read more »

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#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich communities all over through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here.

If you have a nominee for #DoPublicGood, please let us know in the comments and if selected we’ll send you both a PUBLIC gift certificate.


 

 

In Vol. 9 of #DoPublicGood we’re highlighting Trips for Kids Marin, an organization whose mission is to provide transformative cycling experiences for underserved youth. Their programs build self-esteem, inspire healthy lifestyles and instill environmental values.

We interviewed Adam Smith, Trail Rides Program Manager at Trips for Kids Marin, about the organization’s 30th anniversary and how they have grown from a single chapter in Marin to one of the nation’s largest youth development bicycling organizations with over 75 chapters nationwide.


Tell us a little bit about how Trips for Kids Marin and its programs got started.

 

ADAM:  Trips for Kids began 30 years ago in Marin county as the vision of Marilyn Price, a pioneering and passionate woman who wanted to help underserved, urban youth experience the transformative power of nature through a largely  unrecognized but impactful youth development tool, the bicycle. She began organizing group rides out of her garage and quickly realized that in order to affect a larger number of youth and have the positive impact she desired, she had to scale up and legitimize the operation. Two years later in 1988, Trips for Kids was founded as an official non-profit organization and began leading off-road, mountain bike rides that focused on immersing urban youth in the spectacular natural beauty found in Marin County and challenging them physically on the bike.  Marilyn knew that this was a powerful combination for positive youth development and with that, the Trail Rides program was born.

Since that first official ride in 1988, Trips for Kids Marin has taken more than 36,000 youth on trail rides around the Bay Area while currently working with an average 1,600 youth every year. Youth who attend the rides come from primarily low income, minority families and often have not ridden a bike in months or years and have rarely, if ever, explored their local natural spaces. Our Trail Ride program uses the bicycle to deliver an experience where riders practice new skills, explore nature and step beyond their comfort zone – this combination creates an impactful experience for our youth participants and leads to positive transformation during and after the ride.   We bring all of the equipment needed for the ride including the bikes, helmets, gloves, water bottles and trained Ride Leaders.

In every closing circle debrief we hear kids saying things like, “That was so much fun! My favorite part was seeing the ocean (or wildlife) and getting to ride a bike for the first time since I was young.” Sometimes we have kids who haven’t ridden a bike since immigrating to America, or who are seeing the ocean for the very first time. Always, there are smiles and laughs.  

We see the impact just one ride has on these kids, from the confidence they build over the course of the ride to the sense of accomplishment they feel by completing a typical 8-mile ride; the rides are great self-esteem builders. With some youth agencies we conduct rides on a recurring basis and the impact it has on those youth is even greater, due to the kids’ ability to practice and advance their skills and confidence. But even one magical ride through nature can be a transformative experience.         

 

 

How have you expanded your programs over the years?

 

ADAM:  In addition to the Trail Rides program,  we provide two after school programs that focus on different aspects of the bike. Our Earn-a-Bike  program teaches bike mechanic skills to kids in the San Rafael Canal Community, which is Marin’s lowest income neighborhood. The kids earn a bike by successfully mastering the skills of our 8-week curriculum, developing vocational skills useful for a career in mechanics, and learning lessons on the benefits of hard work and achievement.

Our Mobile Bike Workshop brings the fun (bikes and helmets!) to the kids at their school or organization and teaches safe riding skills over 10-12 week sessions. A new skill is practiced each week and the kids ride their bikes on the school grounds and in the local neighborhoods. We work with Marin elementary and middle schools to bring riding skills to those for whom transportation to open spaces is a barrier.  

All of our programs are supported by grants, individual donations and revenues from our Re-cyclery Bike Shop. Our Re-cyclery mechanics refurbish donated bikes, salvage quality parts and help our customers purchase low-cost bikes, parts, clothing and accessories that meet their riding style. We accept gently used cycling-related donations every day. Shopping in our store or donating are both great ways to support our youth programming.

 

 

What are the organization’s plans for the future?

 

ADAM:  Last year we created a new national non-profit called Trips for Kids National,  to provide resources for and better connect our national chapter network; it will also be devoted to expanding our easily replicable cycling activities with more entities nationwide. This was a critical step to allow Trips for Kids Marin to focus entirely on quality Bay Area programming and an expansion of our services locally.

Trips for Kids Marin is already developing new partnerships to create new and unique youth cycling programs. We recently partnered with the Girls Scouts of Northern California and Heart of Central California to offer a brand new hybrid program called Learn it, Fix it, Shred it! This program combines our Earn-a-Bike and Trail Rides activities to teach girls basic bike maintenance in the morning and take a trail ride in the afternoon, focused on safety, fun and learning. We hope this pilot program will become a new national partnership between Trips for Kids and Girl Scouts of the USA, and initiate the development of an official Scout biking badge, which doesn’t exist yet.    

 

 

How will you be celebrating your 30th anniversary?

 

ADAM:  I invite all your readers to our two celebratory events in Marin this year! We’ll be hosting a Family Bike Festival on Saturday, July 21 at China Camp State Park, which will be a day of biking, BBQ and music for the whole community. We’ll host a bike rodeo, lead free trail rides for the kids, hand out prizes, and chow down on BBQ while listening to a fun live band. It’s going to be a great time outdoors and you don’t even need a bike to participate. As always, we’ll bring our bike fleet for the kids to use!

Our 30th Anniversary Gala will be held Saturday October 19 at the Mill Valley Community Center and feature a pedal powered live band and much merriment throughout the evening. Tickets will be available in advance online (get on our mailing list, sign up to volunteer, become a sponsor, or make a donation at www.tripsforkidsmarin.org) and will serve as a fundraiser to ensure we can continue to provide our transformative programs to youth for another 30 years!

 

 

And how can people get involved in the programs?

 

ADAM:  If you’d like to join a Bay Area ride or donate your time and/or used cycling gear, or make a financial contribution please visit our website www.tripsforkidsmarin.org. Complete our volunteer application and our Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch with you shortly to discuss the best way you can be part of making a positive difference in the lives of young people through the power of riding a bike in nature.  

To start a Trips for Kids chapter and learn about our national chapter network’s activities visit www.tripsforkids.org.  

 

 

 

Partner Store Spotlight: BFF Bikes, Chicago

March 22nd, 2018

  We understand that local bike shops have long been at the heart of the cycling community. Beyond a bike, you can find knowledgeable staff and group rides with potential new friends. Although we sell our bikes mostly online, we are still a strong member of that community and want to help you be a… Read more »

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We understand that local bike shops have long been at the heart of the cycling community. Beyond a bike, you can find knowledgeable staff and group rides with potential new friends. Although we sell our bikes mostly online, we are still a strong member of that community and want to help you be a part of it too!

 

More than 140 bike shop locations across the country are currently a part of our Partner Store Program.  With this program, PUBLIC bikes ordered online from us can be sent to your local store and professionally assembled, zero hassle. Our partner store will notify you when your bike is fully assembled and ready for pick-up. You will also receive a walk-through and basic fitting upon pick-up.

 

We are proud to spotlight our partnership with BFF Bikes in Chicago as a part of our Assembly Partners program.

 

ABOUT BFF BIKES

Founded in 2014, owners Annie & Vanessa didn’t want to merely create the only women-specific bike shop in the midwest, they wanted to create a community of women cyclists who would support and encourage each other regardless of ability.

 

Annie & Vanessa, BFF Bikes founders (& actual BFFs).

 

THE BFF SHOP

From city cruisers to hill crushers, BFF Bikes proudly offers a vast collection of quality bikes. In addition, they carry a unique collection of top quality, well-designed, women-specific apparel.  Everything is hand selected by their excellent staff of women who love to ride and love to share what they do.

 

Inside the BFF Bike Shop (featuring PUBLIC bikes)!

 

They have a full-service shop that prioritizes quality over quantity so you can be assured your bike is given thorough and detailed attention to keep you happily rolling. From flat-fixes, brake adjustments, wheel builds, to complete overhauls, their expert mechanics do it all.

 

If you want to learn how to do some of your own maintenance, learn more about bicycles, or just have some fun you can join their clinics. BFF Bikes clinics cover a wide variety of topics ranging from beginner to expert, and with names like “Give-A-Shift” you know they’re bringing their sense of humor and fun to it.

 

THE BFF COMMUNITY

The BFF community is made up of women at every level of cycling. Whether a woman is riding with children, commuting downtown, racing around the country, or all three, BFF Bikes is a space where she can find what she needs.

 

“This is more than a bike shop. It’s a community that no matter what level of cyclist you are, everyone is welcoming and encouraging! Oh, yeah, and they have great bikes, gear, and service!”

– Leslie W., customer

 

For women who want to compete, they have the BFF Bikes Racing team. BFF Bikes Racing is now the largest women’s racing team in Chicago. Their wildly successful beginning as USA Cycling’s 2015 Women’s Club of the Year has helped them grow their team – made up of women competing in all levels of cycling through many disciplines including road, cyclocross, mountain, and track.

 

 

Kris Caudle, BFF Bikes Racing team member kicking some ass.

 

For women who just want to cruise and possibly meet a new BFF, they host a wide variety of group rides through Chicago and beyond. They even have weekend “BFF Bikes to Beer” rides so you can discover new friends, new routes, and new brews all at once.

 

Group ride with BFF Bikes (looks fun, right?).

 

Being in the sometimes cold climate of Chicago, they even offer off-season options such as indoor training classes or Camp BFF, which allows you to get away to Arizona to train in mountainous terrain for a week.

 

Considering all of their offerings, it’s no wonder they are a favorite in the Chicago area.  

If you ever find yourself nearby, make sure to roll by to say hey and maybe join on a group ride:

BFF Bikes

2113 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647


 

BFF Bikes on working with PUBLIC as an Assembly Partner:

“We love being a PUBLIC Partner Store. PUBLIC makes getting your perfect bike simple (and stylish!), and we make sure it’s safely built and properly fitted. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing people’s smiles when we reveal their new PUBLIC bike. When the dream bike they found on PUBLIC’s website becomes a reality inside our shop, it’s incredible to be a part of. Partnering with PUBLIC allows us to get more people on more bikes. What could be better than that?”

– Kelly, BFF Bikes

 

Search by zip code for our Partner Stores near you.

If you don’t see your favorite shop, shoot an email to dealers@publicbikes.com with your recommendation.

 

Partnership With Mike’s Bikes

October 16th, 2017

PUBLIC is proud to partner with Mike's Bikes. For Bay Area and Northern California residents, you now have more options for in-store purchase at all 12 Mike’s Bikes retail locations or buy online to pick up your assembled bike in San Francisco, Berkeley, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Jose, Petaluma, San Rafael, Sausalito,… Read more »

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PUBLIC is proud to partner with Mike's Bikes. For Bay Area and Northern California residents, you now have more options for in-store purchase at all 12 Mike’s Bikes retail locations or buy online to pick up your assembled bike in San Francisco, Berkeley, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Jose, Petaluma, San Rafael, Sausalito, Sacramento and Folsom.

PUBLIC bikes will now be available for fully assembled home or office delivery through the Mike’s Bikes Direct delivery program in most Northern California neighborhoods.

Customers living far from a Mike’s Bikes retail location will still be able to purchase PUBLIC bikes online, and have them shipped either “Ready to Ride” direct to their door, or to PUBLIC’s bike shop Assembly Partners across the continental US.

Ride Pride

June 21st, 2017

Since our founding in 2010, we have celebrated the message of inclusion, accessibility, and community, and have worked to reclaim our urban environment to make all feel welcome riding, walking, and being a part of public spaces. This year we partnered with Lambda Legal to design a special edition bike for their West Coast Liberty… Read more »

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Since our founding in 2010, we have celebrated the message of inclusion, accessibility, and community, and have worked to reclaim our urban environment to make all feel welcome riding, walking, and being a part of public spaces.

This year we partnered with Lambda Legal to design a special edition bike for their West Coast Liberty Awards in Hollywood. Lambda Legal is a national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact legislation, education, and public policy work. What started in 1973 as a group of volunteer lawyers has grown into a national organization fighting against discrimination in employment, healthcare, insurance, parenting, immigration, police and criminal justice, and more.  Our colorful bike was auctioned to raise funds to support the work of this impactful 503(c)3 nonprofit.

PUBLIC is proud to celebrate the LGBTQ community this month, and every month. We’ll be riding in our hometown of San Francisco’s Pride Parade with the SF Bicycle Coalition’s Pride Parade Contingent on June 25th. We’ve loved seeing PUBLIC bikes at Pride events around the country over the years — let us know how you rode this year.

 

Ultimate Commuter’s Guide for Bike-to-Work Month and Beyond

May 17th, 2017

Happy bike-to-work month! By now, you’ve probably experienced some of the ups and downs of a weekly cycling commute. On one hand, your calves are bulging with new muscles, and there’s nothing like the exhilaration you get bypassing stubborn highway traffic. On the other hand, you’ve had enough sweat-stained shirts for a lifetime—not to mention… Read more »

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Happy bike-to-work month! By now, you’ve probably experienced some of the ups and downs of a weekly cycling commute. On one hand, your calves are bulging with new muscles, and there’s nothing like the exhilaration you get bypassing stubborn highway traffic. On the other hand, you’ve had enough sweat-stained shirts for a lifetime—not to mention the day that it rained! To become a real commuting pro, you’ll need to do some hardcore strategizing and invest in the right gear to stay fresh and get to the office in one piece. Join us as we run through all the essentials you’ll need for your regular workday ride for your best work commute ever!

Image courtesy of Modernize.

Safety First!

Running late to a meeting? Don’t let safe cycling practices bite the dust! For starters, you should always wear a helmet and light-colored clothing (or a safety vest for extra protection!) to make yourself more visible to motorists—those are no-brainers. Other tips for safer commutes? Pick low-traffic streets with wide lanes wherever possible, and avoid the impulse to hug the right curb while you ride. In fact, try to stay in the middle of the lane, if you can. Study up on the most common cycling collisions and how to avoid them. Don’t forget about safety accessories, such as front and back lights, mirrors, bells and reflectors. Practice what you preach, too, and hold yourself accountable to the rules of the road. Just because you’re not behind the wheel doesn’t mean that you should text or use your phone while you ride! Need more information? The League of American Bicyclists has an extensive library of safe riding courses and videos, plus a directory of local class offerings, to get you up-to-speed on all the rules in no time.

Avoid Transportation Hiccups

Whether it’s a surprise piece of glass or a sudden hail storm, cycling’s a little more unpredictable than driving. Anyone bicycling to and from work should have some backups in place to keep the process running smoothly. For instance, keep spare tubes and tire levers with you in case of flats—and learn how to change a tire by yourself. It’s not a bad idea to bring along a miniature pump and a traveling tool kit with a multi-tool and wrench, either. That will allow you to make adjustments and address emergency repairs on the fly. Still, you should always have some form of backup transportation, whether that’s a bus pass or a friend you can call up for a ride. If you’re serious about full-time commuting, you may even want to consider a second bike, just in case you have to take your main ride into the shop for a few days.

Give Yourself Extra Time

One of the major pros of a cycling commute is the chill vibe, so don’t kill it by rushing around at the last minute! You never know what you’ll encounter on a bicycle: a flat, a detour, or a brush with an unexpected pothole will all add time to your commute. And if you take your time, you won’t feel tempted to run lights or engage in other unsafe cycling practices to get there faster. Some cyclists even plan on arriving to work early, before the regular 9 to 5 crew shows up. You’d be surprised how much more relaxed you are with a more leisurely commute, and you may even get a lot more work done before the hustle and bustle of the day gets underway!

Stay Dry, Stay Cool

If you’re planning on commuting to work regularly, you may want to do something to contain the sweat—you don’t want to be the smelly one in the office! If you’re lucky enough to have access to an in-office shower, consider investing in a super absorbent chamois towel. It’s a lot more space-efficient than a big bath towel. No shower? No worries! A spare change of clothes, plus a washcloth and soap (or even a package of baby wipes), does a pretty keen job of keeping you fresh. Of course, it’s a lot harder to come in looking decent when it’s just rained, especially if you don’t have the right gear. A waterproof cycling backpack, plus a padded waterproof case for your laptop and phone, keeps your spare duds dry during a sudden downpour. We keep a hairdryer at our office to use after particularly wet rides. If your bike has the eyelets for fenders, they’re your best bet against splashback, so make sure to install them—unless you like the feel of that dirt trail on your back!

It’s Not All About the Gear

Now that cycling everywhere has gotten more popular, there are plenty of tricked-out accessories you can use for your ride. There’s the practical kind, such as cell phone mounts and panniers, to the downright ridiculous (looking at you, bicycle banana holder!). But you should really avoid the “must have” lists and settle on the items that work best for you. Some people can’t stand padded bike shorts, while others wouldn’t dream of riding without them. Some commuters like baskets or racks and panniers, and some prefer to carry everything in a shoulder bag or knapsack. It may take a little trial and error, but you’ll figure out what you need. It’s about the quality of the ride, not the fanciness of the gear.

But a Few Cool Accessories Are Nice

That being said, there’s nothing like the right tool for the job. Since there are some pretty cool accessories out there, there’s no harm in trying out a few if you want, right? Some of the standouts include USB-charging bike lights, a U-lock clamp bracket, and bicycle chain chargers that capture the kinetic energy from your ride and use it to charge your phone and devices. We also think sustainable bike lights that run off 100 percent solar power just like solar panels are pretty cool. And with plenty of patterned bags, helmets, and hats, there are tons of ways to personalize your ride. After all, just because you’re commuting to work doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun along the way!

 

 

About the Writer

Erin Vaughan is a blogger, gardener and aspiring homeowner.  She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.

Announcing Our Play Day Giveaway Winner

May 16th, 2017

We’re happy to announce the winner of our Play Day Giveaway is Genisa C. from Boise, Idaho. Genisa is a stay at home mom to a young daughter. She wrote to us: “We love being outdoors and exploring together, typically with our local branch of Hike It Baby. I’m excited to win this because we… Read more »

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We’re happy to announce the winner of our Play Day Giveaway is Genisa C. from Boise, Idaho.

Genisa is a stay at home mom to a young daughter. She wrote to us: “We love being outdoors and exploring together, typically with our local branch of Hike It Baby. I’m excited to win this because we live in the City of Trees and there is a huge bike culture here. It will be awesome to show my daughter our city from a new perspective!”

Genisa won $2,700 worth of prizes, including an adult PUBLIC bike bike and a PUBLIC kids bike, plus a lifetime of kids shoes from our partners See Kai Run and a cool teepee and $500 Gift Credit towards party stationery or personalized kids’ stationery from Minted.

Over the years, we can’t wait to see Genisa’s daughter grow up riding a PUBLIC bike with her mom, playing in her new Minted teepee, and running around in her See Kai Run shoes.

Read about our other past giveaway winners. And sign up on our email list at the bottom of our homepage to receive news about our next giveaway!

Do Good By Bike: Vol 7 – Taking Protected Bicycle Lane Advocacy To The Streets

May 16th, 2017

#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich their community through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here. May is Bike Month and for #DoPublicGood we’re celebrating the people who standing up for bike safety across… Read more »

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#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich their community through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here.

May is Bike Month and for #DoPublicGood we’re celebrating the people who standing up for bike safety across the country. Last week we participated in a street action that we think could be replicated in many other cities to call attention to the need for more protected bicycle lanes.

A group of volunteer safe street activists in San Francisco showed up to form a human protected bicycle lane on the popular Valencia Street commuter route. Ever since the City of San Francisco installed bicycle lanes on both sides of Valencia Street in 1999, the street was generally viewed as a bicycle-friendly route, even featuring timed “green wave” traffic signals that allowed bicyclists to keep rolling through green lights as long as they averaged ~13mph bike-riding speed.

But especially with the rise of car share services like Uber and Lyft, which has transformed every bicycle lane or even street into a pick-up and drop-off location, many streets like Valencia Street have become notoriously unsafe for anyone traveling along the corridor. With many popular restaurants, bars, and shops on Valencia Street, it’s very typical for bicyclists to be forced to weave in and out of the bicycle lane because of cars temporarily blocking the bike lanes. Valencia Street, once considered a poster child for a bike-friendly street, is now considered a bicycling safety problem – and really, a problem for vehicular drivers too.

Many cities have been slow to respond with regulations and enforcement to respond to the rising problem of blocked streets and bicycle lanes, especially resulting from ride share cars stopping and going. This is why volunteer advocates are organizing to highlight these issues – and to pressure city officials to take action to make streets safer, including advocating for protected bicycle lanes. You can read about how “Safety Vigilantes Strike Again on Valencia” on Streetsblog.

Even in places like Omaha or Wichita, safe street advocates are resorting to gluing plungers to demonstrate the need and effectiveness of protected bicycle lanes.

If you live or work in San Francisco, the next human protected bike lane action is planned for Thursday, May 25 from 5-7pm. Sign up here receive communication.

If you’re fed up with lack of action in your city for protected bike lanes, maybe you can organize a small group of like-minded people to form your own guerrilla street group similar to SFMTrA. All you might need are some plungers, glue, cones, signs and passionate people.

Kimpton Hotel Born – Good Design In The Mile High City

May 9th, 2017

Since 2013, PUBLIC has been proud to work with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to provide fleets of custom PUBLIC bikes for Kimpton’s 64 boutique hotels in 33 cities around the world. Every Kimpton hotel guest can use a custom PUBLIC bike for free to explore surrounding neighborhoods. We worked closely with Kimpton Hotel Born in… Read more »

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Since 2013, PUBLIC has been proud to work with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to provide fleets of custom PUBLIC bikes for Kimpton’s 64 boutique hotels in 33 cities around the world. Every Kimpton hotel guest can use a custom PUBLIC bike for free to explore surrounding neighborhoods.

We worked closely with Kimpton Hotel Born in Denver on a handful of special custom bikes to elevate their unique design sophistication.

We partnered with Denver-based marketing, strategy and design firm Ellen Bruss Design on these customized Kimpton Hotel Born bikes. The Born hotel bikes are based on PUBLIC’s popular 7-speed commuter bike PUBLIC V7.

We’re really proud of this collaboration and excited to share a few photos of the final products.

About the Kimpton Hotel Born collaboration, Creative Director Ellen Bruss said, “When we started working on the brand, one of the first expressions of it was a custom bike using the plaid that is part of the design palette. At that point, we didn’t know if we could do a custom bike. PUBLIC made the dream become a reality. We hadn’t ever worked on a custom bike before. The PUBLIC team was very helpful with explaining what we could do and what we couldn’t do. They guided us on how much to wrap, since wear and tear are a big issue. They also helped figure out ways we could push the boundaries. They customized the cables and stripes to fit our design, and they took on the charge of having a custom Hotel Born name plate fabricated for the front of the basket.”

Bruss continued: “As far as the EBD design process goes, it began with picking the right bike for the audience and also finding one that the base colors were something we could match our palette to. The wrap crossovers were a challenge since the plaid pattern is complicated. And getting the scale right was important so we did numerous versions of that. We couldn’t have done it without a really collaborative, can-do PUBLIC team.”

Most of PUBLIC’s customers are individuals happily riding their PUBLIC bikes, but we love working with companies and organizations on corporate fleet bikes or custom fleet bikes. We’ve worked with companies ranging from Clif Bar, SF Shipyard and Bay Meadows, and many other corporate customers.

Let us know if you’d like to work with us on fleet bikes for your company or organization.

When you visit Kimpton Born Hotel, as Ellen Bruss noted, “the customized bikes will be front and center, one of the first brand expressions you’ll see when you get to the hotel. Guests will be able to use them to go out and explore the neighborhood.”